Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, journalist and women's health activist Barbara Seaman, like many of her feminist contemporaries, donated her extensive collection of personal papers to Harvard University's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Unlike most of her peers, Seaman also left corrective notes, messages to future researchers, and critiques of historians' handling of her and her friends' pasts. This article examines Barbara Seaman's curated archive as a means to discuss feminists' historical consciousness-raising in the late twentieth century, and its consequences for researchers. By showing how archival collections are both personal and political, this discussion advocates for the proper understanding of archives as historical acts in themselves. The archive of women's experience has changed significantly since the 1970s as individuals have come to routinely advocate for themselves as historical subjects worthy of study.


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pp. 88-109
Launched on MUSE
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